Guitarist reworks the entirety of Iron Maiden's Powerslave for nylon-string acoustic guitar

With the millions of channels out there, it can be hard as a YouTuber to get your content seen. That’s why creators are resorting to more and more ambitious projects in order to catch the gaze of the masses. 

Bradley Hall, for example, blew us away last year when he turned the first Lord of the Rings movie – The Fellowship of the Ring – into a three-hour metal song.

And now, another guitar YouTuber by the name of Thomas Zwijsen has attempted a project that’s similarly ambitious: transforming the entirety of Iron Maiden’s 1984 album, Powerslave, into a 47-minute nylon-string acoustic guitar arrangement.

Though the audio has been pre-recorded – totally understandable given the scale of the endeavor – the new video finds the Dutch guitarist, armed with a range of Ortega guitars and accompanied by guests including flamenco guitarist Ben Woods, violinist Wiki Violin and drummer Nathanael Taekema, reinventing the album’s array of guitar riffs in an unplugged format.

Highlights include the album’s fast-paced opening cut, Aces High, during which Zwijsen harmonizes in effortless style with Ben Woods, a unique acoustic guitar-and-violin rendition of The Duellists, and an intricate take on the record’s closing track, Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Check out the full video above.

Whilst transforming Powerslave would have been no mean feat, Thomas Zwijsen was always the man for the job, as he’s made a habit in recent years of giving Iron Maiden songs the acoustic guitar treatment. Last year, he did so with the band's latest album, 2021's Senjutsu.

He's covered a wealth of other Maiden tracks, too, with his series of Nylon Maiden cover albums. The fifth and most recent installment of the series, Nylon Maiden V, plays hosts to unplugged renditions of The Wicker Man, Out of the Silent Planet, Children of the Damned, Darkest Hour and Stratego, among a host of others.

To see more of Zwijsen, head to his official YouTube channel (opens in new tab).

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Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).